Enterprise Resource Planning v Enterprise Business Framework

Companies 10 years and older often outgrow their IT systems.

The signs of this include:

1. Managing IT infrastructure

As a company grows, the complexity of IT infrastructure increases. It becomes challenging to manage the network, servers, and storage devices, leading to system downtime and decreased productivity.

2. Volume of data

The volume of data generated by the company increases as it grows, and managing this data becomes more challenging. The main cause of this is that marketing, sales, accounting, and operations systems have created data silos that don’t properly synchronize. This can lead to data loss, inaccurate reporting, and compliance issues.

3. Limited IT expertise

The small IT department that the company started with may lack expertise. This often manifests itself in difficulty evolving the IT framework without significant project failure risk.

This situation often results in a chronic crisis where management and IT continuously clash over the best way to modernize.

This blog compares an Enterprise Resource Planning strategy versus an Enterprise Business Framework to address the expanding IT needs of growing businesses.

What problems are an ERP system trying to solve?

The purpose of an ERP system is to provide an integrated and comprehensive view of an organization’s business processes and data. An ERP includes a suite of applications such as finance, human resources, procurement, supply chain management, and customer relationship management.

By consolidating data and automating processes, an ERP system can help organizations streamline their operations, reduce costs, and improve efficiency.

The centralized database across all of these applications improves the accuracy of decision-making and reporting.

Another promise of an ERP system is a standardized business process across the organization. This can lead to increased productivity, better collaboration among departments, and improved customer service.

Why do ERP projects only partially succeed 54% of the time and outright fail 23% of the time?

Inadequate preparation and poorly defined objectives are the leading causes. But is there something about the approach that just doesn’t work for the majority of organizations?

A Swiss Army Knife is not the best choice of scissor, corkscrew, or nail file. Trying to run all of your business processes against one relational database creates is three problems:

1 Accounting systems, CRMs and inventory systems all use different business languages. Putting a dozen or more applications into a single database will create a very complicated schema.

2 Supporting every feature for every system is going to be impossible. Like the Swiss Army knife example, none of the systems is likely going to be the best of bread.

3 Extending the system or adding features will be slow and costly due to the complexity of the system.

No doubt these systems capture the most popular features of each system but it’s unlikely they capture all of your requirements. It’s quite possible that the out-of-the-box ERP system can’t meet the project requirements in the first place.

This isn’t a sales pitch for a better product, it’s an argument for a better approach

We have been delivering scalable, distributed systems for over a decade. We have achieved 100% project success rates.

Clear project objectives are a major factor contributing to the success or failure of our projects.

But we need to recognize that we have entered an era of distributed systems. The majority of your legacy systems are SaaS and therefore hosted in the cloud. This is the major factor contributing to your inability to create an aggregate, accurate view of your data.

We have proof that an Enterprise Business Framework is simpler, less expensive, and more likely to achieve your project goals.

How to eliminate project risk

You probably have most of the data that you need to make better business decisions in your current enterprise systems.

The problems you’re trying to solve is:

  1. accessing this data in a timely way
  2. knowing that the data is accurate
  3. automating decisions based on this data

You can reduce project risk if you can find a simple way to make only the data that you need to produce the report available. Instead of ripping out your legacy systems and replacing them, let’s start with a better way to access your existing data.

An Enterprise Business Framework

  1. Each Event Adaptor publishes only the relevant events from its legacy system
  2. The Business Event Database stores the event data from the Event Adaptors
  3. A Business Logic Manager is built for each desired business process using the data in the Business Event DB
  4. The framework includes required reporting and business user UI
  5. Business Logic Managers can send control data back to legacy systems

Event Adaptors publish a ledger of transactions

Instead of copying all of the data from your business applications into one database, push only the required data. By pushing the data as it is generated, we can recreate the current state from the data history. Since the events are in sequence, the system knows if its missing events or if events are out of sequence.

This eliminates the need to keep multiple databases in synch. [example]

The difference between a relational DB and a Business Event DB

The Business Event DB is a source of truth for your business critical processes. Each business event is saved and can be used to generate an accurate account of the current state.

A relational database, on the other hand, only stores the current state. If the current state contains an error, the system has no way to correct this error or even know that it is an error.

Business Logic Manager

Your system is not an abstraction of your business process, it is your business process. This avoids the lost in translation problem of a business language being abstracted into a technical language and then back into a business report.

The Business Logic Manager is designed to produce the exact, accurate report in real-time.

Multiple reports can

Key benefits of Business Event Framework

The Business Event DB is a source of truth for your enterprise data because it is a record of all of the events that lead up to the current state – not just a query of the current state.

The framework can be understood by both business users and technical teams because it is built using the language of the business.

The project cycle is fast with results in a few months. Project success is validated early on before significant time and money are invested against the wrong requirement. This dramatically lowers the project risk. Success rates for Business Event Framework projects are as high as 100%.

The system can be scaled to take on additional processes and reports gracefully since none of the legacy systems are entangled in the data model.

Project and operating costs are a fraction of data warehouse or ERP for a number of reasons. Transactions are published as they occur so the reporting system does not constantly query the legacy system. Databases are not copied and the complexity of keeping multiple systems synchronized is eliminated.

No need to replace legacy systems until the time is right. If a legacy system does need to be replaced it can be done gracefully after the Business Event Framework is up and running.


The growing complexity of IT infrastructure, increased volume of data, and lack of communication between legacy systems often trigger a need to upgrade. The usual symptom is that managers lack the reporting needed to make timely business decisions.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are designed to provide this upgrade path. They promise an integrated and comprehensive view of business processes and data in one platform.

However, ERP projects often fail due to inadequate preparation and poorly defined objectives.

An alternative approach is the Enterprise Business Framework. This approach simplifies the process and reduces project risk by creating a Business Event Database. This database has only the required data and is available in real-time. The Business Event Database becomes a source of truth for business-critical processes.

The Enterprise Business Framework provides access to the data they need, automates decisions, and reduces costs.

Businesses should consider an Enterprise Business Framework as a better approach to modernizing their IT systems.


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